Episode 71 – My Activation
For the month of November I’ll be covering topics with the theme of Nourish + Restore.
In this week’s episode, I share about my experience with Caty Pasternak and Chiara Mazzucco at the Activate Retreat. I dive into my inner transformation and how I’m continuing to grow.
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Hey there, and welcome back to The WELLthy Woman Podcast. I know last week I promised you an episode all about your adrenal glands, stress response, testing and healing, BUT I was inspired to chat with you about something else this week. I promise the adrenal chat will come soon – likely next week, so stay tuned.
SO , in the spirit of gratitude and thankfulness this week, I wanted to share the experience I had last month at an exclusive women’s transformational retreat with Caty Pasternak and Chiara Mazzucco. If you don’t know about these women, and you are interested in personal development, diving deep and breaking old patterns in your life, then I highly recommend checking them out. I will link to both of their sites in the show notes.
That being said, in today’s episode, I’m going to share my experience, what I learned, how I have personally transformed and how I continue to grow and expand each and every day from this experience. I’ve been super hesitant to share this experience, because of how life-changing it was for me, and getting vulnerable isn’t really my thing, but after having this experience, I think everyone should experience it or something like it, because it will literally transform your life.
So, to start, I’m going to paint a little background picture for you, so you know why I even chose to embark on a journey this.
So, I’ve been in practice for over six years now – I started as a primary care provider working within the insurance paradigm in Portland, Oregon, and I did that for about 4 years. Basically, until I was burned out – I had a full practice and was working ridiculous hours and seeing patients who were not following through with recommendations. It was literally draining my soul.
So, I knew had to pivot, and I took an opportunity, just across the river in Vancouver, Washington, where I opened up a cash-based private practice within an amazing wellness community – shout out to Kendall Hagensen and the crew at Vancouver Wellness Studio.
With that move, my patient base was quite a bit smaller, but I was MUCH happier, because what I found was that when patients had skin in the game – in this case financial investment, they actually took the steps needed to get better, and they did. Right?
In short, this work was much more rewarding, because I was not only working less hours, making about the same amount of money, but I was also positively impacting more lives. It was great!
BUT after about two years of that, I knew my soul was wanting something different – something more aligned with my calling, my greater vision, my purpose and my passion… and so I took my practice completely online.
Now this is where the fear REALLY set in.
A handful of clients followed me, but I was in uncharted territory, and I knew I needed guidance.
I joined a functional medicine mastermind, which I’m still a part of with Dr. Sachin Patel and other amazing practitioners, but they are all operating out of brick and mortar offices, which is MUCH different than what I’m doing.
I needed something else. I needed to step away from the online strategies, marketing, sales funnels and online courses, because I felt like I was on a hamster wheel and starting to feel that burnout creep up again.
SO, I knew that what I had to do next was not something external. It wasn’t another strategy or funnel, it was about moving internally and focusing on balancing my inner world around my energy, clarity, connection and also shedding these imbedded limiting beliefs that I had been carrying around all my life, because they were dragging me down – for reals.
I knew there was something deeper within me that needed to emerge, and I knew I needed guidance.
So, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term “limiting beliefs”, these are subconscious programs, so they run much deeper than our conscious awareness. They are thought patterns and perceptions that we’ve created as protective mechanisms. The tricky part is that they’re always running in the background, and they are typically large and in charge whether or not we like it.
So, nerding out just a bit, our subconscious mind runs the show about 95% of the time and is something like a million times more potent and powerful than our conscious mind. Let that sink in… it’s running the show 95% of the time and is 1 million times more powerful than our conscious mind. Pretty wild, right?
Alright, back to those limiting beliefs, they typically define our self worth and values. Things that you don’t necessarily realize you’re saying to yourself, like…
- I lack motivation.
- I procrastinate too much.
- I don’t have time.
- I don’t have enough money or resources.
- It’s too late to change or improve my situation.
- I have too many responsibilities.
Any of those sound familiar? Can you see how these beliefs would limit you from moving forward?… THAT’S why they’re called limiting beliefs.
So, back to turning inward, I found Caty Pasternak through Instagram and started listening to her podcast, and through her content, I found Chiara.
Turns out, they were in the middle of forming this dynamic friendship, and when they announced they were doing an exclusive in-person women’s retreat, I knew I had to be a part of it.
Now, Caty is brilliant with her work around the subconscious mind. She has a strong background in hypnosis, neuro linguistic programming and magical powers. I don’t know what those magical powers are, but she’s got something REAL special going on.
AND, Chiara compliments her SO well, because she’s also in tune with all the energetics and woo, but she also has a super strong background in all the online strategy and marketing. It’s really a beautiful combination, and they are just SO fun to be around.
I actually interviewed Caty on my podcast a while back, so if you want to hear that episode, check it out, it’s number 58.
Alright, so I had an interview with them both, and before I knew it, the energy was flowing and I was in… AND I was shitting my pants – equally nervous and excited.
So, let’s dive into the weekend in question.
A lot happened, but I really just want to focus on the inner transformation, because it was the most profound experience I have ever had, and even though it was only focused on during our first full day together, everything else related back to it.
So let’s talk ego death – breaking down the defensive shells, getting more vulnerable than I ever thought possible with people I didn’t know and facing inner demons that I had conveniently ignored and suppressed for the past 30 plus years.
I won’t go into every exercise, challenge and experience, but it was painful. Like ugly crying gut wrenchingly painful…
We were challenged and stretched and ripped apart, but it was done in such a loving, caring and supportive way, that I was simultaneously being healed.
Now, I’ve experienced talk therapy in the past, but this was something different – this was deep intense emotional healing that resulted in tangible results.
The word transformation gets thrown around a lot, but this experience was truly transformational. I left that weekend a different person. Maybe one or two of you have noticed that shift… ?
Anyway, I learned that my core wounding is the feeling of unworthiness, and I was able to identify that, dive into some inner child healing with Caty’s guidance and come out feeling more whole than I was before.
I experienced face-to-face criticisms that cut to my core – confirmation of those inner voices, core woundings and limiting beliefs – and share our deepest shame.
As painful as it was, I felt more seen and understood than I’d ever experienced in the past.
When people see you, in ALL your imperfection, and STILL love and care about you… whoa.
I had to admit to myself, and these women, that my defensive ego self had been taking over and keeping me from living the life I knew I was meant for. I had embodied “miss independent” and “the perfectionist” to the point where I was pushing people away and not taking action.
Seeing this pattern and how it had played out over the past several decades lit a fire under my ass. I was done. I wasn’t going to let myself play small anymore.
No more hiding.
No more stagnation.
We journaled, we soul gazed, we screamed into pillows and danced… and we released ALL the bullshit that was holding us down.
After breaking down our walls, we had to receive.
I know that doesn’t sound all that difficult, but with a core wounding of unworthiness, getting showered with compliments from women who are looking directly into your eyes for three straight minutes was intense. It brought tears to my eyes.
I remember thinking to myself that as uncomfortable as this experience was, I was hooked. I knew in my bones that inner transformation was the key. It was that one thing that was missing from my personal healing journey.
As you know, I’ve done so much – I’ve healed my body and reversed my diagnoses of Hashimoto’s and PCOS, I’m healthier than I’ve ever been in my life, BUT there was still something that hadn’t been addressed, and it was this inner work.
Now, it’s not a one and done kind of thing, right? Like my health, this inner work is a lifestyle. It’s a daily choice I get to make. I start my day with gratitude, meditation, journaling and movement to make sure that I’m not falling back into old patterns.
And on top of that, I have the gift of being in a safe container with these women while ALL of this new information is being integrated and solidified into my system.
Now, I won’t say that the rest of the weekend wasn’t powerful, because it REALLY was, but it all dovetailed with this first day.
If you are feeling called to have an experience like this, I have some resources for you, but instead of just popping them in the show notes, send me a DM – seriously, I want to connect with you – I want to chat with you!
I want to honor you for showing up and being ready to transform your life.
Alright, so if you found this episode helpful, please share it with someone you love.
I’d love to know what you thought, so hit me up on Instagram, send me a DM or take a screenshot of you listening and tag me @wellthywoman_ .
Otherwise, tune in next week, where I promise I’ll talk with you ALL about adrenal health, my favorite way to test your stress response and how to restore their function, so you can maintain energy and avoid burnout.
Chat with you next week!